International Information Centre for Balkan Studies

Lawyer: Removing official who uncovered Jovanjica case would represent revenge

October 17, 2021

According to the lawyer of Slobodan Milenkovic, the head of the anti-drug department of the Belgrade Police who is one of those responsible for uncovering the marijuana cultivation operation of the ‘Jovanjica’ plantation, removing him from the post would be an act of “revenge.”

Milenkovic was the one to arrest the owner of the plantation, Predrag Koluvija, who opposition parties said had connections with the brother of Serbia’s President.

The Nova.rs portal reported that the Chief of the Police Administration for the City of Belgrade, Veselin Milic, wrote a proposal for the temporary transfer of Milenkovic to the position of inspector in the War Crimes Department.

President Aleksandar Vucic told the media that he knows nothing about the official transfer of Milenkovic and that this is “not his job.”

Lawyer Zdenko Tomanovic, said that Milenkovic would be punished for “protecting the constitutional order” if he was removed from the post.

The evidence revealed by Slobodan Milenkovic and his team of anti-drug officers has become a political obstacle, and therefore, his removal would be a humiliation of the laws and institutions of the state, Tomanovic said.

„Chief Milenkovic, risking his life, together with Inspector Mitic and a large number of his colleagues, revealed the participation of high officials of state bodies and security services in the case of Jovanjica, and his removal would be revenge for his courage to apply the laws of our country and protect the legal order,” he said.

He argued that there is an ongoing campaign against those who cracked down on the case which began when the state leadership “affirmed” allegations from the person accused in the case, who said that there are political motives behind the actions of the police officers.

His statement said that, although the competent prosecutor’s office and the court are acting in the case regarding Milenkovic and his team, „no judicial institution has indicated to the authorities that the law prohibits them from evaluating evidence, evaluating statements and commenting on proceedings.”

According to the lawyer, this created the conditions for legally uncontrolled obstruction of justice due to the political risk posed by the further application of the law in the case of Jovanjica.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/lawyer-removing-official-who-uncovered-jovanjica-case-would-represent-revenge/

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